Get smart with a Smartphone!

 

Hello again, it’s Alistair reporting (Here I am, pictured to the right)….Alistair intro photo Jan 15

Galaxy Note 3 phoneAfter my last blog post I thought I would continue with the subject of how I use my Smartphone. After trying out several different phones both iPhone and Android,  the phone I picked is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (pictured to the left). The Note 3 has a large 5.7 inch Full HD screen, which I found to be much easier to see than the smaller screens on an iPhone. It’s an Android phone and there are lots of built in features for the visually impaired.

In the settings you can change the size of text and choose different fonts. There’s screen magnification which I use a lot. After the magnifier is turned on in the settings, you just tap on the screen 3 times to zoom in. Then you can pinch to zoom in and out and use 2 fingers to pan around the screen.  Other features include ‘Text to Speech’ and ‘Talk Back’, where the phone will read out text and help you navigate around the screen.

Another great feature of the Galaxy Note 3 is the ‘S Pen’ which allows you to write and drawhandwriting with the S PEN on the screen. So, if you find it hard to type on the on screen keyboard you can write with the pen instead (see photo to the right). This means you could write an email just like writing a letter with a pen and paper. As you write the phone turns your handwriting into text. There are also built in ‘Apps’ for taking notes and drawing. Another input method is to use Google Voice Typing – this let’s you speak into the phone and turns your words into text.

You can also customise your home screen, by picking your favourite ‘Apps’ and ‘widgets’ and place them where you like on the home screens, so you can find them easily – unlike an iPhone where all your ‘Apps’ are on the same screen and it can be harder to find the one you want.

‘Magnify App’:

Magnify AppThis FREE ‘App’ uses the phone camera to turn your phone into a magnifying glass (see photo to the left). It’s great for reading labels, newspapers and magazines or a menu if you are out for lunch. If what you are trying to read is too dark, you can use the phone flash as a reading light. There’s also an option to turn the picture negative, if it’s easier for you to read white text on a dark background.

There is also the option of having an Android tablet instead.   Samsung make 8, 10 and 12 inch tablet versions of the Note. And they have all the features mentioned above. If you don’t need the ‘S Pen’ there are the cheaper standard tablets to choose from too.

Until next time….

Alistair Ford

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One Response to Get smart with a Smartphone!

  1. Fantastic what a really useful blog for anyone with a visual impairment wondering about the minefield of smart phones out there!!

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